It’s Not My Fault

Provoking to wrath – Proverbs 6:4

Have you ever done something and blamed someone else or had a reason that it wasn’t your fault that you reacted a certain way? Why does our legal system allow you to claim temporary insanity? Why do your kids say, “He made me do it?”

There are so many stories, from the time of Adam and Eve where we blame others for our actions. I was watching a news story of a woman who had an inappropriate interaction with her daughter’s ex-teenage boyfriend. They had shared sexually related texts. The plot thickens as she was the former mayor of a small town and her husband is the high school principal.

I wondered how the news reporters got the daughter to interview on behalf of her mother and then they dropped another bomb; they all blamed the mother’s inappropriate action on the death of her disabled son. What? Now I don’t want to be disrespectful. I worked in hospice and palliative care for years and this was an interesting twist. A woman goes out and does something supposedly out of character because she was grieving over her son. Uh, that makes no sense, sorry.

 At some point, do we say we lied, killed, steal and whatever other sin, because of something someone else did or because we are in an extreme emotional state. We hear about this every day when lawyers claim their clients were temporarily insane. Really? Seriously?

The Bible clearly states that we will appear before Christ for our judgment of actions – good and bad. Well you might say if I sin what can I do? Here’s a simple solution from Henry Blackaby’s words: “Strive always to acknowledge and take responsibility for your own sins. It will free you to receive God’s forgiveness and to press on to spiritual maturity.”

S – Scripture

Then the man said (to the Lord), “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) ~ From Henry Blackaby’s Devotional

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”  ~2 Corin 5:10

O – Observation

The Bible says that from the very beginning, when Adam blamed Eve and then blamed God for giving him Eve; then Eve blamed the serpent. God placed judgment on them and all of mankind for their disobedience. We will also appear before Christ for all of our actions – good and bad.

A – Application

How do I apply this devotional to my life? That’s both easier said than done. I need to think about what I’m doing before I do or say something. I also need to know as the scripture tells me that I and I alone am accountable for my actions. It’s like a football game where a player was mad at someone on the other team so he pounded the guy’s head into the ground three times and then as they pulled him off the opposing team players body, the guy stepped on his leg. He got kicked out of the game and possibly will have a six-digit penalty. So, it may be the other person’s fault of why you reacted, but you still have to pay the penalty and it doesn’t excuse your behavior.

P – Prayer

What can I do Lord to take responsibility for my actions? As Blackaby says to strive always to acknowledge my actions and take responsibility for my own sins. If I do sin, I must do this in order to repent and receive God’s forgiveness in order to learn and grow through my weaknesses. Just because the Lord has huge amounts of grace upon my life does not mean that I can do whatever I want and go back and ask for forgiveness and not have to pay the penalty for my sins. As 2 Corin 5:10 says, I must still stand before Christ’s judgment seat. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have the Lord say, well done, my good and faithful servant.

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God’s Not Dead – Resurrection Day

Watch the preview of God’s Not Dead the movie here:

 

HGods Not Deadave you seen the movie yet? How appropriate that this movie came out a few weeks before the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Both Christians and non-Christians celebrate Easter but only a few will truly understand the pain, sacrifice, and life-changing reason for Easter – it is the day that Christ, our Savior was risen from the dead as prophesied in the Holy Scriptures.

Although the movie is not about the death and resurrection of Christ specifically like the most watched and most translated film,  The Jesus Film Project – this movie is about a college student in today’s time who is told by his college professor to write “God is dead” on a paper so that there’s no debate in his philosophy class. There are several stories within the film that depict how other students are affected by the choice of one student who stands up for his faith.

This is a very well done movie and is playing in theaters at the time of this post. It is doing so well, that initially the movie was released in select areas and is now expanded to most all major theaters across the country as it had a great opening weekend. 2014 seems to be the year of the Bible stories and Christian movies. Some of them are not well done, by way that they are not Biblically correct. God’s Not Dead is not a Biblical story but the story of one young man who stands for his faith and the stories around him help the viewer to think through their own life and hopefully come to a spiritual conversation with a Christian or give their life to the Lord through prayer – by confessing with you mouth that Jesus is Lord, asking for forgiveness for your sins – you too can have eternal life in heaven when that time comes. See Roman’s Road to Salvation.

 

 

-When church leaders fall-

 

“If all sin is evil and we are all sinners, what’s Proverbs 13:6 mean? “Godliness guards the path of the blameless, but the evil are misled by sin.”

USMC prayer kneeling WC Cpl. Christopher StoneIt was a challenging week as we started it by finding out through social media that the pastor of a church we used to attend some years ago had stepped down. The news was due to ‘moral failure’. It was heartbreaking to say the least. News spread quickly among the congregation and the news media. Speculation, assumptions, talk, what happened? What was he thinking? There’s no confirmation, but talk from a blog and rumors. The church’s website had an ‘official statement’ as people gathered for an special Sunday afternoon announcement, the pastor wasn’t present. It just goes to show you that we cannot place all of our trust in man, but in Christ. Fortunately, this particular church has many great members and leaders and the pastor did teach them from the scripture for many years that we all fall short of God’s glory.

No matter what, it’s still going to be a challenge but the outlook of many have said that the church will go on. And for those who choose to say that they will leave, are bitter, and inconsolable, well that too is a choice. We’ll be praying for that pastor and his wife and children. He’s not alone in his choices and he’s paying with severe consequences. However it all comes down, God is sovereign and He is in control. We’ll just take this one step at a time and go on. We have much to be thankful for and the ministry that this man started will go on. The next chapter is yet to be written and prayerfully those remaining will pick up the pieces and good will come from poor choices.

Although I wouldn’t call the person evil, the sin during a moment of weakness is evil – for this scripture just gives us some direction in Proverbs that we all need to take heed and seek God in all we do and take it all to God in prayer. ~B2B

All Dogs Do Go to Heaven, I’m pretty sure

All Dogs Do Go to Heaven, I'm pretty sure

This is my lil Nala, she was born on Jan 5, 2000 and sadly passed in my arms on March 23, 2014. She was 14 years old, but if you multiple that by doggie years she was 98!

I adopted her from a care home operator in Pearl City Hawaii when she was a little over six months old as the prior owner said Nala’s mom was expecting again and she had too many chi’s.

Nala’s been with me through several moves and major life events over the 14 years of her little life. She traveled well on her first plane ride from Honolulu to Michigan and her final destination of Florida, while fortunately riding in the cabin of the plane, I knew once we left Hawaii she would not return with me. Her tiny teacup body was at times a hefty 4.5 lbs but she averaged 4 lbs for many years, and as she aged went down to 3.

She had attitude and style and was always admired by those who saw her and fawned upon her. She loved the attention of adults and the admiration of adoring fans. She was a princess, even though that wasn’t my intention, she just was. She just had a personality all her own and rule the house as the littlest of our canines.

I will miss her dearly. Although the Bible doesn’t clearly state that our pets will go to heaven, I would like to believe that God knows what would give us joy and I’m hoping to see all of my pets who gave and taught me of unconditional love. The same type of love that Jesus has for us, His children.

If you’re interested in what the Bible says, “Do pets/animals go to heaven” you can go to http://www.qotguestions.org and check it out. http://www.compellingtruth.org/do-pets-go-to-heaven.html

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree…

Should Christians have a Christmas tree?

Should Christians have a Christmas tree?

Should Christians celebrate Christmas? This could be a hotly debated topic as various aspect of the American Christmas has nothing to do with what Christians believe in, that this may not be the exact date of Christ’s birth, but it is a time to rejoice over the birth of our Savior. In one case, based on the interpretation of the Bible and trees decorated in our homes, one could look at the scriptures and say, we should not have a Christmas tree as this is a form of idol worship. What? You may say, you’ve never heard of this in Sunday service, why hasn’t the pastor taught on this and why do they have trees all around our church? Well, it’s up to debate but this is what GotQuestions.org has to say about it and more importantly, we need to seek God and the scriptures for our own convictions.

An excerpt from GotQuestions.org says, “Another argument against Christmas, especially having a Christmas tree, is that the Bible forbids bringing trees into our homes and decorating them. The passage often cited is Jeremiah 10:1-16, but this passage refers to cutting down trees, chiseling the wood to make an idol, and then decorating the idol with silver and gold for the purpose of bowing down before it to worship it (see also Isaiah 44:9-18). The passage in Jeremiah cannot be taken out of its context and used to make a legitimate argument against Christmas trees. Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-Christmas.html#ixzz2oOtRiXRK

What’s your thoughts? Sound off in the comments section below.

Asking God for stuff…

In God we Trust

In God we Trust

The Bible says it, so why can’t you ask for anything you want and get it in Jesus name?

For one thing, if you read the scripture to ask for anything in the name of Jesus, you need to read the rest of the scripture: John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/pray-Jesus-name.html#ixzz2iS4j48sX

I would always say, God is not Santa Claus, you don’t make a list and expect whatever you ask for. In Luke 11:1-4 we are taught to how to pray. However, if you keep reading vs 5-11 Jesus used stories or parables to teach the meaning of what he was saying. He says that He will give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask. Luke 11:12.

Now if you’re wondering what does the Holy Spirit have to do with asking for provision when you need basic necessities like food, water and shelter? You may say you’re praying for healing or salvation for a friend or family member – why would God give me the Holy Spirit, that’s not what I asked for.

If you come to understand the source of all you ask for is in the Holy Spirit that can dwell within you then you will understand. I was reminded of this as I’m going through the book, Radical, by David Platt. It has been on the New York Times best seller list for some years and a good read to remind us that God our Father is willing to give us everything we need and things we want when it is based on God’s will, not our own.

We’ll need to do a few things before God will give you the desires of your heart. “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” (Psalm 37:5-7a, NIV).

Seek the scriptures for answers. Look things up in your Bible concordance and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you as to why a prayer is not being answered. You’ll find that everything happens for the God’s purpose and in His time. May His Holy Spirit provide peace and comfort as you wait upon the Lord. “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” – Psalm 24:17 NLT

Obedience – are you willing to submit to him?

obedience

Military basic training via twitter

“Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.” ~Colossians 3:22 NLT

When I first read the book “My Life is Not My Own” by Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, I understood that being a Slave to Christ is so much easier than being the boss of my own life. You can read my review of the book by clicking My Life is Not My Own.  There’s also an interesting written interview by Michael Little, president of CBN and Dr. Bright at the 50th anniversary of Campus Crusade now known as Cru. Dr. Bright explains the contract he and wife, Vonette signed to become, “Slaves for Christ.”

Are you willing to be a Slave for Christ?

When I think of the word slave I think I have no power, no choice, just obedience or there will be consequences. The difference is that God allows us free-will. Yet, the Bible clearly states that He is a God of order and peace. I Corin 14:33, 44.

We have the choice to follow Him and His direction based on the Word and the Holy Spirit, or we can choose not to and suffer the consequences of our choices. The definition of being strong-willed or independent are seen as strengths in the secular world, yet as Christians, God asks us to be obedient, followers of Christ. As I journal my devos I have found an ongoing theme of lessons woven in God’s Word – obedience. I continue to see that often times God asks us to step out on faith to do something for Him, and yet it was to build our character for His purpose, not what we could do for others, but what we could learn, and grow from, in order for God to mold us.

So the next time the Lord speaks and ask you to step out in faith and be obedient to him, don’t ask: how, why, when, or wait until you have all the details before you make any decision – just say, “yes Lord” – because often times, He just wants your obedience.

II Timothy 3:16

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

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“Bible study draws us closer to God, giving us a better understanding of Himself, His love and His purposes. Through a stronger relationship with God, members have found how to build better and stronger relationships with others — at home, work, school and in our communities.” ~Bible Study Fellowship International

I’ve been reading through the BSF website and looking forward to this season’s teaching of the book of Matthew. Their website has the outline of questions for the next study and all the information you’ll need to learn more about where the next session is held near to you. BSF is held in churches for men, women and children across the US and in 38 countries.

God’s Word never ceases to amaze me that i can receive new teachings from the same books and scripture. It’s been a while since I’ve written in Bible2Blog – life’s busy-ness gets preoccupied but when I journal my devotions I know that I have documentation of the Lord speaking and revealing himself. I hope that you will participate in a local BSF and share what the Lord is teaching you this season.

Watch the JESUS Film free – JESUS Film Media partners with Bible App

 

youversion_web-1_JFM blogUsing your smart phone or tablet to share the gospel

Jesus Film Media (JFM) on March 4 announced that they have partnered withYouVersion the most downloaded Bible app, which has over 75 million users. JFM is the digital version of The JESUS Film Project (JFP) which is the most watched movie in the world, translated into more than 1160 heart languages and shown around the world since 1979.

The JESUS Film Project is based on the Gospel of Luke. The JESUS Film app also has the complete digital films of Magdalena, The Story of Jesus for Children, the series Following Jesus, Walking with Jesus and the popular anime short film, My Last Day.

JFM has created the entire film and segments of the film to be shown digitally on phones and tablets, however by partnering with YouVersion, users will be able to watch the videos while studying their Bible or share them with others for free. The new video feature on YouVersion is available in about eight languages and growing. The application can be downloaded through your phone or tablet by clicking on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or you can go to the YouVersion website.

The JESUS Film Project and Jesus Film Media is headquartered in Orlando, Fla. They also have daily recording studio tours, Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

*Originally posted in the Examiner Biblical Living

How is Truth a person?

The Lord has many names, but if we think about it, if we changed Jesus Christ’s name to Truth it would most likely lose the meaning of truth or the definition of what we believe truth to mean.  In today’s devotional, Henry Blackaby gives us an eye-opener on Truth the Person.

Who is Truth?

Truth Is a Person

And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” Then He arose and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water. And they ceased, and there was a calm. But He said to them, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:24-25)

~Truth is a Person, not a concept. Jesus said He was the Truth (John 14:6). That means that you can never know the truth of your circumstances unless you have first heard from Jesus. The disciples thought they were perishing in the storm. They were fishermen who knew the sea and knew what their condition was. They had allowed their circumstances to convince them that the “truth” was their imminent death. But they were wrong. Truth was asleep in the back of their boat! ~ Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God devo

Observation

While reading this devotion I had to tune out all distractions and go back to the scripture to get a better understanding of what Blackaby was trying to explain. Blackaby went on to say something that we all do in our day to day lives:

~Since some of the disciples were fishermen, they trusted in their own expertise and wisdom rather than recognizing that only Jesus knew the truth of their situation. At times, our human knowledge in certain areas of life can blind us to our desperate need to hear a word from Truth.~Blackaby

This is so key to what Blackaby’s devotion is trying to tell us – we need to stop being dependent on ourselves and trust the Truth, which is Christ!

Blackaby goes on to say, “When Jesus spoke, the disciples saw the real truth of their situation. There was absolute calm. The disciples had seen Jesus perform other miracles, but they had not yet witnessed His power over nature in such a dimension. Often we are like the disciples. God may have recently demonstrated His power to us in a mighty way; we may have experienced many spiritual victories in the past. Yet, when a new and frightening situation comes upon us_we, too, panic and say, “Lord save me. I’m perishing!” God will remind us of His provision, saying, “I can handle this situation, too, and you will know more of Me because of it.”

Application

How can we apply this devotional and scripture into our lives?

More notably I would say that I personally would need to remind myself that Christ is Truth and that I must do as Matt 6:33 says to “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first” – in all things that I do. When I do this, I am able to remind myself that if I am dependent only on my personal life experiences and not God’s Word than I will get stressed and panic like the disciples. It’s common, I don’t know of anyone who wouldn’t do the same, they go through life making choices on a day-to-day basis based on what they know, not always ‘who’ they know.

My reminder is to begin each day in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in all things. The scripture that tells us to pray without ceasing is just telling us to constantly be in connection with our Lord. To do, to speak, to act, in all we do. Not just for the major decisions in our lives but to seek the truth in the day to day interactions we have with others. How we respond to conversations, to tasks, and especially before we get ourselves in situations where we panic and lose hope. There is no greater hope than in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer

Father we thank you for all that you did for us by dying on the cross. We ask that you would help us as we seek you first from the time we wake up in the morning until we go to sleep and rest in you. Lord we are thankful for all the experiences that you give us as they help mold us into the character of the person you can use to further your kingdom. We ask that you would not only allow us to use the experiences and wisdom that you gave us but that we would not forget to remember to seek you, the Truth, by faith. Let us trust in you not in ourselves, as we know you can do all things. Amen